by Richie Hofmann
It was not penitence I sought, standing outside
the bedroom in the old apartment
where you had spent the night alone.
To bend, to kneel before some greater force–
that was no longer what I wished.
Clouds blew in from the coast, and I felt
the sun abandoning the window behind me,
making the bright walls suddenly colorless,
obscuring everything, for a moment,
that I wanted. When I finally entered,
I saw you still asleep–a wet strand
of hair tucked behind your ear, the husk
of your body–and lingered there for a minute,
before walking upstairs to shut the windows.
by Robert Browning
Out of your whole life give but one moment!
All of your life that has gone before,
All to come after it, – so you ignore,
So you make perfect the present, – condense,
In a rapture of rage, for perfection’s endowment,
Thought and feeling and soul and sense –
Merged in a moment which gives me at last
You around me for once, you beneath me, above me –
Me – sure that despite of time future, time past, –
This tick of our life-time’s one moment you love me!
How such suspension may linger? Ah, Sweet –
The moment eternal – just that and no more –
When ecstasy’s utmost we clutch at the core
When cheeks burn, arms open, eyes shut and lips meet!